Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Bully romance. A strange trope. I mean, falling in love with the person who bullies you? In real life, that would rarely, if ever, fly. In romance, it makes for some hot reading. In my recent observation, this seems like a “hot” trope. A lot of people seem to be writing it. And I’m not unhappy about that (yeah…that’s a double negative…so what). In fact, I kind of love this trope because it’s messy and painful and usually has a happy ending and lots of hot angry $ex.
Siobhan Davis just released Twisted Betrayal, the second book of, I believe, a trilogy, The Rydeville High Elite. In reviewing the first book, Cruel Intentions, I noted the abuse that seems heaped on the heroine, Abby. At times, in that book, it seemed overwhelming. Yet, she always seemed to rise above. This really doesn’t change in this second book, but the abuse seems progressive and downright dastardly. Abby’s father is still the biggest villain, and there will be no redeeming this man. Someone, quite frankly, is going to have to kill him to end the abuse on her and everyone else in the story. However, Kai who perpetrated some nefarious bullying on her in the first book has tamed in this one. Their progression into a deeper love balances, to a degree, the destruction of her father. It gives the reader a bit of a reprieve from the continuous action of this story.
That being said, one of the struggles with this book is the constant action. There are a lot of characters in this story between the old elite and the new elite. At any time, one of them is working against the “plan.” It oftentimes is overwhelming as a reader to follow everyone’s motives. Even more, the constant running and fighting is exhausting. I found myself needing to take breaks from the “push and pull” of Abby and Kai’s relationship.
Also, I’d really really like a happy ending for Abby. I am not one to cringe at dark romances or heroines being bullied. Abby clearly has the strength to endure it. However, I am not a huge fan of the impotence to really change everything that seems fraught through this book, One minute, she finds out something else her father has rained down her; the next minute, she vows revenge through a “plan” with little, if any, resolution.
This book ends in a cliff-hanger that makes it seem as if there is no way out for her. I trust in Siobhan Davis that this ending is a part of the “plan.” I need it to be so because, as of right now, Abby’s happily ever after is far off in the distance. And the woman has endured enough by these men.
After reading this review, clearly, I’m invested. Even though at times the storyline is cringe-worthy because it is heavy bullying (specifically by her father), I know that Siobhan Davis will deliver us a beautiful ending where all is right with the world of Rydeville High. And if you think these “kids” are high schoolers, you might question that. No one is really going to school because they are trying to simply survive this heinous world that Davis has created.
Buckle up for this one…Twisted Betrayal is a crazy ride.
In love and romance,